Question 1

After a lot of experimentation, I found what I thought was a good placement for all of the instruments that did not change location for the duration of the song. The drums, the bass, the lead vocals, the acoustic guitars and the rhythm guitars. I used the "Connections" button on JACK to set this up - linking each track to one of the 8 speakers in the "Stage". It looked like this:

A couple things to note: First, each mono track in Ardour has two outputs to the speakers, as you can see above (example: "kick/out 1" and "kick/out 2" are both from the same mono track "kick" in Ardour. Secondly, the "Stage" (or as I mistakenly labeled it on this picture: the "Listening Room") is set up like this - with the listener in the middle of room facing speakers 1 and 2:

Thus, I set up the tracks like this:
1. Acoustic guitar - track 1 to speakers 1 and 5, track 2 to speakers 2 and 6, track 3 to speakers 3 and 7, and track 4 to speakers 4 and 8. The overall effect make them sound like they were coming from all sides, since each track was a different version of the acoustic guitar.

2. Clean Electric guitar - This track was originally stereo, so the left channel went to speaker 5, and the right channel went to speaker 6. It made this guitar part, which is the basis of the song, very stable in the middle of the mix.

3. Distorted Electric guitar - Again, this was originally stereo. I sent the left channel to speakers 3 and 7, and the right channel to speakers 4 and 8. I sent them to 2 speakers each because these tracks only kick in during the chorus, so it has to be particularly big-sounding.

4. Lead vocals - Like the clean electric guitar, I wanted this track to be right in the middle of the mix, so I sent the left side to speakers 3 and 5, and the right side to speakers 4 and 6.

5. Bass - I sent this track to speakers 1 and 2. The low end I kept in front of the listener.

6. Kick drum - Like the bass, the kick was kept in front of the listener.

7. Snare drum - The snare is the drum that ties the whole drum kit together. Thus, I kept it near the center of the mid, with the left side going to speaker 5, and the right going to speaker 6.

8. High Hat - This went to speaker 6, which is on the listener's right. However, it doesn't sound completely panned, however, as there is lots of high hat sounds in the Overhead tracks, which are everywhere. Thus, The overall effect is that the high hat is slightly to the right of the listener.

9. Toms - There were three toms, which I entitled "high", "mid", and "low". I put them in the middle too, as they are often involved in fills with the snare drum. BUT, I wanted them to also move from right to left. Thus, the high tom went to speaker 6, on the listener's right, the middle tom went to speakers 3 and 4, so they sound like they are slightly in front of the listener, and the low tom is in speaker 5, on the listener's left.

10. Overheads - As with the toms, there are three tracks of overheads. I entitled this "left", "middle", and "right" based on how I panned them in the stereo track. Here, however, I need to think of depth as well as left/right panning. Thus, I put the "left" track in speakers 5 and 7, so it comes from slightly behind the listener on the left, while the "right" track is in speakers 6 and 8, so as to come from behind and to the RIGHT of the listener. Finally, to make the drums seem completely surround-soundesc, I put the "middle" overhead track in speakers 1, 2, 3, and 4, so it comes from directly in front of the listener.

This setup allows for the rhythm instruments that DON'T move to completely engulf the listener. The low end is in front, the high end (the overheads - they mostly consist of the cymbals in the drum kit) behind the listener. Everything else is at least close to directly to the left or right of the listener. What makes this a complete experience, however, is that most of the tracks, especially the vocals, the drums, and the acoustic guitars, share parts with one another so they blend together. For example, you can hear some of the kick drum in the back speakers through the left and right overhead tracks.